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Down and out in the Magic Kingdom

In January 2015, I accepted a position as a Software Craftsman at Pillar Technology in Columbus, Ohio. I was wowed by this fast growing, consultancy, infused with startup culture and creativity. Getting to work on skunkworks projects, with brilliant people, who deeply cared about technology was my dream job and Pillar seemed to be the real deal.

For the first two weeks, I worked with other starry-eyed engineers during Pillar’s famous “Craftsmanship Academy”, and got indoctrinated into the culture there. We worked together on a fun side project, with a goal to get everyone to bond and gel together while learning about Pillar’s particular brand of Agile Software Development. It was a blast, and I formed many bonds there that I am sure will last the entire length of my career.

Wise words, from a wise man…

Pillar’s on-boarding processes includes watching a long series of training videos on their “Step-It-Up” program talking about who Pillar is, and why they do the things they do. They talk about things like Craftsmanship, Test-Driven-Development and consulting skills. They talk about innovation with an idealism that is so enchanting you can’t help but swallow the kool-aid. In fact they drown you with it.

I bought it all. I wanted to believe that this truly was the greatest company to work for. It seemed like a great work environment and the skill of everyone there was unmatched by anywhere else I’ve ever worked.

I ended up on a project for a large agricultural manufacturer. I’m a Python guy, and so when I learned they were putting me on a Python based project I was ecstatic! But almost immediately cracks started appearing.

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